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«Gentlemen, it would be useless and disgusting to enumerate the other passages within the scope of the indictment. How any man can rationally vindicate the publication of such a book, in a country where the Christian Religion is the very foundation of the law of the land, I am totally at a loss to conceive, and have no wish to discuss. How is a tribunal, whose whole jurisdiction is founded upon the solemn belief and practice of what is denied as falsehood, and reprobated as impiety, to deal with such an anomalous defence? Upon what principle is it even offered to the court, whose authority is contemned and mocked at? If the religion, proposed to be called in question, is not previously adopted in belief, and solemnly acted upon, what authority has the court to pass any judgment at all of acquittal or condemnation? Why am I now, or upon any other occasion, to submit to your lordship's authority? Why am I now, or at any time, to address twelve of my equals, as I am now addressing you, with reverence and submission? Under what sanction are the witnesses to give their evidence, without which there can be no trial? Under what obligations can I call upon you, the jury, representing your country, to administer justice? Surely upon no other than that you are sworn to administer it under the oaths you have taken. The whole judicial fabric, from the king's sovereign authority to the lowest office of magistracy, has no other foundation. The whole is built, both in form and substance, upon the same oath of every one of its ministers, to do justice, 'as God shall help them hereafter. What God? and what hereafter? That God, undoubtedly, who has commanded kings to rule, and judges to decree with justice; who has said to witnesses, not by the voice of nature, but in revealed commandments, thou shalt not bear false testimony against thy neighbour;' and who has enforced obedience to them by the revelation of the unutterable blessings which shall attend their observances, and the awful punishments which shall await their transgressions.

"But it seems this course of reason, and the time and the person are at last arrived, that are to dissipate the errors which have overspread the past generations of ignorance! The believers in Christianity are many, but it belongs to the few that are wise to correct their credulity! Belief is an act of reason; and supe

rior reason may therefore dictate to the weak. In running the mind along the numerous list of sincere and devout christians, I cannot help lamenting that Newton had not lived to this day, to have had his shallowness filled up with this new flood of light. But the subject is too awful for irony. I will speak plainly and directly. Newton was a Christian! Newton, whose mind burst forth from the fetters cast by nature upon our finite conceptions: Newton, whose science was truth, and the foundation of whose knowledge of it was philosophy: not those visionary and arrogant assumptions which too often usurp its name, but philosophy resting upon the basis of mathematics, which, like figures, cannot lie. Newton, who carried the line and rule to the utmost barriers of creation, and explored the principles by which, no doubt, all created matter is held together and exists. But this extraordinary man in the mighty reach of his mind, overlooked, perhaps, the errors which a minuter investigation of the created things on this earth might have taught him, of the essence of his Creator. What shall then be said of the great Mr. Boyle, who looked into the organic structure of all matter, even to the brute inanimate substances which the foot treads on. Such a man may be supposed to have been equally qualified with Mr. Paine, to "look through nature, up to nature's God." Yet the result of all his contemplation was, the most confirmed and devout belief in all which the other holds in contempt as despicable and drivelling superstition. But this error might, perhaps, arise from a want of due attention to the foundations of human judgment, and the structure of that understanding which God has given us for the investigation of truth. Let that question be answered by Mr. Locke, who was to the highest pitch of devotion and adoration a Christian. Mr. Locke, whose office was to detect the errors of thinking, by going up to the fountains of thought, and to direct into the proper track of reasoning the devious mind of man, by showing him its whole process, from the first perceptions of sense, to the last conclusions of ratiocination; putting a rein besides upon false opinion, by practical rules for the conduct of human judgment.

"But these men were only deep thinkers, and lived in their closets, unaccustomed to the traffic of the world, and to the

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laws which practically regulate mankind. Gentlemen, in the place where you now sit, to administer the justice of this great country, above a century ago, the never to be forgotten sir Matthew Hale presided, whose faith in christianity is an exalted commentary upon its truth and reason, and whose life was a glorious example of its fruits in man; administering human justice with a wisdom and purity drawn from the pure fountain of the christian dispensation, which has been, and will be, in all ages, a subject of the highest reverence and admiration. But it is said by Mr. Paine, that the christian fable is but the tale of the more ancient superstitions of the world, and may be easily detected by a proper understanding of the mythologies of the heathens. Did Milton understand those mythologies? Was he less versed than Mr. Paine in the superstitions of the world? No: they were the subject of his immortal song; and though shut out from all recurrence to them, he poured them forth from the stores of a memory rich with all that man ever knew, and laid them in their order as the illustration of that real and exalted faith, the unquestionable source of that fervid genius, which cast a sort of shade upon all the other works of man

"He pass'd the bounds of flaming space,
Where angels tremble while they gaze;
He saw, till, blasted with excess of light,
He clos'd his eyes in endless night!"

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But it was the light of the body only that was extinguished; the celestial light shone inward,' and enabled him to justify the ways of God to man.' The result of his thinking was neyertheless not the same as Mr. Paine's. The mysterious incarnation of our blessed Saviour, which the Age of Reason' blasphemes in words so wholly unfit for the mouth of a Christian, or, for the ear of a court of justice, that I dare not and will not give them utterance-Milton made the grand conclusion of 'Paradise Lost, the rest of his finished labours, and the ultimate hope, expectation, and glory of the world:

'A Virgin is his mother, but his sire


power of the Most High: he shall ascend

The throne hereditary, and bound his reign

With earth's wide bounds, his glory with the heavens.'

"The immortal poet having thus put into the mouth of the angel the prophecy of man's redemption, follows it with that solemn and beautiful admonition, addressed in the poem to our great First Parent, but intended as an address to his posterity through all generations:

"This having learned, thou hast attained the sum
Of wisdom: hope no higher, though all the stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all th' ethereal powers,
All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works,
Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea,
And all the riches of this world enjoy'st,
And all the rule one empire; only add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith,
Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love,
By name to come call'd Charity, the soul
Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loth
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess

A paradise within thee happier far.'

"Thus you find all that is great, or wise, or splendid, or illustrious, amongst created beings, all the minds gifted beyond ordinary nature, if not inspired by their Universal Author for the advancement and dignity of the world, though divided by distant ages, and by clashing opinions distinguishing them from one another, yet joining, as it were, in one sublime chorus to celebrate the truths of christianity, and laying upon its holy altars the never fading offerings of their immortal wisdom.

"Against all this concurring testimony, we find suddenly, from Mr. Paine, that the Bible teaches nothing but lies, obscenity, cruelty, and injustice.' Did the author or publisher ever read the sermon of Christ upon the mount, in which the great principles of our faith and duty are summed up? Let us all but read and practise it, and lies, obscenity, cruelty, and injustice, and all human wickedness, would be banished from the world.

"Gentlemen, there is but one consideration more, which I cannot possibly omit, because I confess it affects me very deeply. Mr. Paine has written largely on public liberty and government; and this last performance has, on that account, been more widely circulated, and principally among those who attached themselves from principle to his former works. This circumstance renders a public attack upon all revealed religion, from such a writer, infinitely more dangerous. The religious and moral sense of the people of Great Britain, is the great anchor which alone can hold the vessel of the state amidst the storms which agitate the world; and if I could believe, for a moment, that the mass of the people were to be debauched from the principles of religion, which form the true basis of that humanity, charity, and benevolence, that has been so long the national characteristic, instead of mixing myself, as I sometimes have done, in political reformations, I would rather retire to the uttermost corners of the earth, to avoid their agitation; and would bear not only the imperfections and abuses complained of in our own wise establishment, but even the worst government that ever existed in the world, rather than go to the work of reformation, with a multitude set free from all the charities of christianity, who had no sense of God's existence but from Mr. Paine's observation of nature, which the mass of mankind have no leisure to contemplate; nor any belief of future rewards and punishments, to animate the good in the glorious pursuit of human happiness, nor to deter the wicked from destroying it even in its birth. But I know the people of England better. They are a religious people; and, with the blessing of God, as far as it is in my power, I will lend my aid to keep them so. I have no objections to the freest and most extended discussions upon doctrinal points of the christian religion; and, though the law of England does not permit it, I do not dread the reasoned arguments of deists against the existence of christianity itself, because, as was said by its Divine Author, if it is of God, it will stand. An intellectual book, however erroneous, addressed to the intellectual world upon so profound and complicated a subject, can never

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